Online sessions now available.Kristian S. Nibe - clinical psychologist and ISTDP practitioner.
Symptoms of anxiety.
The symptoms of anxiety can look very different from person to person, and that’s because anxiety incorporates a host of different disorders. Most people associate anxiety with increased heart rate, trembling, panic, or tightening of the stomach or chest. However, what most people don’t know is that anxiety is channeled in three different pathways in the body.
1) Striated muscles, 2) Smooth muscles, 3) Cognitive/Perceptual disruption.
The three pathways of anxiety.
Striated muscles are the muscle groups that you can move on purpose. These are all the muscles you can exercise at the gym. Usually striated anxiety manifests as increased heart rate, trembling, panic, sweating, tension, and tightening of the chest and stomach. Striated anxiety is the most common form of anxiety, and psychologically speaking it is also the healthiest form of the three forms of anxiety. Striated anxiety also includes symptoms such as sighing and deep breaths, difficulty breathing, sleep disturbances and restless sleep, fatigue and exhaustion, blushing, pins-and-needles sensation on the skin, and hot and cold flashes.
The second form of anxiety is channeled via the smooth muscles. These are muscles that we can’t control voluntarily. Smooth muscle anxiety often activates internal organs, especially in the stomach, and manifests itself as constipation, diarrhea, loose stomach, bloated stomach, or “butterflies” in the stomach. Many people struggle with bloated stomach for years no matter what diet they are on, unaware that the stomach is bloated due to unconscious feelings being suppressed by smooth muscle anxiety. Anxiety in the smooth muscles can also result in symptoms in the throat and pharynx. Dry throat, difficulty swallowing, choking sensations, or coughing, are typical symptoms.
Other common symptoms of anxiety channeled through the smooth muscles are headache, ringing in the ears, nausea, rashes, red specs on the skin, impotence, swelling of the vagina, pain in the genital area, frequent need to urinate, cold fingers, feet and toes, or inexplicable pain such as back pain, neck pain, or pain in the joints.
The third form of anxiety is anxiety that is channeled through cognitive modalities and perceptual disruption. This primarily includes the ability to think clearly, and the ability to focus attention. Symptoms such as difficulty to concentrate, memory loss, inability to structure thoughts, thoughts that change quickly and jump from one topic to another (often at great speed), dizziness, confusion about what is real and what is fantasy, lack of impulse control (i.e. acting out/aggression), “black-outs” or zoning out, and difficulty apprehending what others are saying, describes this third form of anxiety.
In other words, anxiety isn’t just increased heart rate and muscles tension. Anxiety may also include symptoms you never would have suspected to be anxiety simply because you never learned what anxiety really is.
Since many of the symptoms of anxiety aren’t symptoms most people would associate with anxiety, anxiety in many cases gets to develop for several years before a person becomes aware of what actually cause his symptoms.
Because of this, many people that suffer from anxiety believe that they are suffering from a somatic illness. They see countless doctors and medical experts before their anxiety disorder is diagnosed.
How anxiety specifically is channeled in the body varies from person to person. Which form anxiety takes is determined by biology, genetics, the type of feeling and the intensity of the underlying feelings that are being suppressed, in addition to the effectiveness and availability of the defense mechanisms the individual possesses.
It helps to become aware of the fact that anxiety is neither a feeling nor does it mean that you are afraid. Anxiety is the alarm system that trigger muscle tension due to unconscious feelings a part of the brain doesn’t want you to become aware of. Just knowing this makes it easier to stay collected and not become afraid when anxiety gets triggered. Greater knowledge about what anxiety really is enables you to notice and feel your underlying feelings that are being covered up by your unconscious.
Online consultations available.
Use the contact form below for any inquiries. Please state briefly the nature of your problem, when and how you are available, and how you prefer to conduct payment (Credit Card or PayPal).
Consultations are available for either 45 minutes or 90 minutes, and are conducted by video either through Skype or appear.in. Alternatively I also offer sessions through chat/e-mail.
The price per 45 minute consultation is 160 Euro. The price for a 90 minute consultation is 300 Euro.
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